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  • Activision screwed over True Crime: Hong Kong by cancelling it right when it was nearly complete because in their words "it just wouldn't sell enough copies." The game was since picked up by Square Enix and released as Sleeping Dogs, and the resulting game garnered tons of critical praise, was one of best selling games of 2012 and continued to gain sales from digital distribution sales long after its initial launch hype died down.
  • And then they did it to Guitar Hero. In 2010, Activision cancelled the entire series, just because the multibillion-dollar franchise sales have gone down, due to constant sequels and spinoffs. It wasn't until 2015 that they would bring the series back with Guitar Hero Live, and even that's struggling.
  • And in 2010, it happened to Crash Bandicoot as well. Due to being a platformer, it wasn't quite as big as Call of Duty or other cash cows, but was a fairly popular and well thought of series. In 2010, however, Activision fired half the staff working on the next game and cancelled said new game. The guy in charge has said he loved the series, but the only games that have come out are cellphone/mobile spinoffs. (Until the N Sane Trilogy remake in 2017, to much rejoicing and praise... on Vicarious Vision's part.)
  • Not even its beloved Call of Duty franchise is exempt from getting messed up thanks to Activision's desire to milk as much money as it could from the franchise.
    • Modern Warfare 2 was pushed out the gate just 2 years after the release of the first Modern Warfare. Given the hasty development schedule, there wasn't enough time for developer Infinity Ward to properly playtest the game, leading to numerous gameplay imbalance problems including the much-hated One Man Army perk + Noob Tube combo. Shortly after the game's launch, Infinity Ward lost most of its development staff, leaving nobody around to give the game a much-needed balance patch.
    • To ensure that Modern Warfare 3 would launch on time, Sledgehammer Studios was brought in as additional manpower to help Infinity Ward, leading to the cancellation of Sledgehammer's own spinoff Call of Duty: Vietnam.
    • Modern Warfare Remastered as a whole was continuously screwed over time. To wit:
      • First, the MWR was originally released only as an expensive bundle with the fan-disliked Infinite Warfare to boost the game's sales.
      • Then the game included money gouging mechanics that included supply drops and even a DLC called the Variety Map Pack, which is an old DLC from the original Modern Warfare albeit with its price bumped up from $10 to $15.
      • And then 7 months after Infinite Warfare came out, the game officially became a standalone that is worth $40, when it was originally a $20 extra to Infinite Warfare. Needless to say, the financial hurdles discouraged many fans from buying Modern Warfare Remastered, leading to a dwindling player base that caused the game to lose support after a year out in the market.
    • Call of Duty as a whole is hit with a form this due to its annual release schedule. Basically, once a game in the series is released, new patches and Downloadable Content come for it all the time over the next year - but once the next game in the series is released, apart from multiplayer servers being left up it's essentially entirely forgotten about so the team behind it can focus on the next one. Found a Game-Breaking Bug in Black Ops III multiplayer after Infinite Warfare's release? Good for you, because your only options now are to put up with everyone abusing it or stop playing multiplayer for that game entirely.

  • Capcom keeps cancelling so much Mega Man-related stuff that many fans think they're deliberately trying to kill the series offnote :
    • The Mega Man X Collection was meant to have various improvements to the games in it, such as replacing the atrocious dubbing of X4 and smoothing out the "Blind Idiot" Translation of X6 along with several gameplay changes. They were cancelled at the very last minute due to planned remakes for the PlayStation Portable that never panned out, with the final product just porting the games with no fixes or changes.
    • Mega Man Universe was announced as a celebration of all things Mega Man. It was then unceremoniously cancelled about a year later. This might have been for the better though, since most who had played the beta version had nothing but negative things to say.
    • Mega Man Legends 3 was announced in a blaze of publicity with lots of hype about how fans would be able to participate in its development. Then it got cancelled about a year later after Keiji Inafune's departure from Capcom. Which the company had specifically denied. To further pour salt into the wound, Capcom was going to release a demo of the game to gauge fan interest. They then cancelled the game without even releasing that demo. Only one man outside of Capcom, a member of Nintendo Power, got to play it.
    • And on Mega Man's 25th anniversary, Capcom releases Rockman Xover, a social game for the iOS. The Western release was actually cancelled because of how much anger the game generated in Mega Man fans.
    • A precursor to the Mega Man massacre, Capcom had Mega Man Volnutt appear as a playable character in the Japan-only Wii fighting game Tatsunoko vs. Capcom which, after much demand, managed to get an international release. The game came out to excellent reviews and positive sales, but a mere three months after its release, Capcom unveiled Marvel vs. Capcom 3 which, due to the recognizability of Marvel, essentially killed interest in Tatsunoko vs Capcom. It did enjoy an EVO run, but next year was replaced by MvC3. Capcom then stated that TvC "exceeded sales expectations" but wished it "caught a little more fire." When questioned, then Capcom Senior VP Christian Svensson refused to believe that the unveiling of Marvel vs Capcom 3 had any negative impact on sales. Capcom also refused to make a digital or multi-platform release of the game. They later let the rights for the game lapse, meaning they cannot even sell the game in their online store. It is now out of print and Capcom has no plans to produce a sequel or remake, despite it being received better than both Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken. At least Zero got in MvC3 itself...
    • When Seth Killian was working for Capcom he attempted to find out exactly why Mega Man was getting so little attention from the company (specifically why Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled). He was told that many people in Capcom were of the opinion Mega Man simply wasn't worth the cost because it wasn't popular outside Japan (absolutely bogus as the series is well-beloved there since the first game). Seth's reply was a disbelieving "..... Really?"
  • Shantae, while developed by WayForward Technologies, was held back by Capcom for a year to let the Game Boy Advance get off the ground. Problem was, Shantae was a Game Boy Color game, which killed a lot of sales due to the console's fleeting user base.
    • Also inadvertently forcing the cancellation of the sequel Risky Revolution due to WayForward not being able to find a publisher due to low sales numbers of the first game.
  • Viewtiful Joe never got its promised third main series game due to Clover Studio's liquidation at the hands of Capcom. Fortunately, one of the spinoffs can sort of be levered into the hole this makes, and Joe himself has found a new home in Capcom vs..
  • Meanwhile, Killer7, Ōkami, and God Hand, all of which were published by Capcom, did not receive a sliver of marketing in Western territories. Non-existent advertising, in addition to poor reception from critics regarding Killer7 and God Hand, were what lead to their demise. Ōkami only got advertising when it was re-released for the Wii and PlayStation Network. As for its original PS2 release, nothing. What's also strange is the fact that Ōkami has received two re-releases, but Killer7 and God Hand have not received a single one, despite huge fan demand to get them re-released, as well as fan demand causing Ōkami to be re-released in the first place. And Suda51, the creator of Killer7, has said that he is interested in making new games based in the world of that game (if not an outright sequel), but because Capcom owns the rights he'd have to go through them to make it happen, and Capcom's simply not interested in working with Suda again because most of his games only ever reach Cult Classic status and never sell really high numbers, which is why Clover was dissolved in the first place and become independent studio PlatinumGames.
  • Street Fighter V got hit with this when Capcom thought that it would be a good idea to release the game in an unfinished state (they wanted the game out before their annual EVO tournament in order to give players a chance to master the characters) with promises to patch in the rest of the game later. But this resulted in much lower sales compared to the previous games, as many fans were turned off at the prospect of buying what was essentially an Early Access AAA title, and now even with the features implemented, the game's popularity is relatively low compared to "IV" and sales are still relatively slow. The game also suffered from disconnects and lag for online matches. Capcom also made the decision not to release the game on the Xbox One in exchange for taking Sony's money despite them clearly being more than capable of funding SFV themselves.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is an odd example since the ones who apparently screwed the game were Disney (owners of Marvel), not Capcom themselves. The game was made to ride on the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which in practice meant replacing the iconic music from past games with dull "movie-style" tracks and going with a more realistic graphics engine, which ended up clashing badly with the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 assets that Capcom reused to save money due to an extremely low budgetnote ; Chun Li and Dante in particular suffered from the transition. The game was also made during the height of Ike Perlmutter's reign at Marvel, which meant Capcom wasn't allowed to use X-Men or Fantastic Four characters, and spokesman Pete "Combofiend" Rojas was forced to come up with the infamous "functions" explanationnote  since he couldn't just outright say "Disney won't let us use them." It was even screwed over in smaller ways, like the person making the game's trailers being under orders not to show Capcom characters beating up Marvel characters because it would make them look bad. While Disney isn't solely responsible for Infinite's failures (it had direct competition in the form of Dragon Ball Fighterz), their actively hamstringing Capcom certainly didn't do any favors and eventually the game was written off as a failure and abandoned only a year after its release.

    Electronic Arts 
  • After EA bought them, every Origin Systems game that wasn't Ultima Online. According to Richard Garriott, the many bugs and plot holes in Ultima VIII and IX were due to EA insisting the games be released at the scheduled date. IX was the most egregious because by then EA dropped support for everything but Online, drove out many of the game's developers and still demanded the game be released on time. When IX bombed EA threw Origin under the bus - they cancelled all further projects including Ultima Online II, drove out Garriott and laid the groundwork for shutting down Origin in 2004. The final insult is that EA decided when launching their online distribution program, that they would call it ... EA Origin.
  • Even Ultima Online was Screwed by the first, since marketing projected lifetime sales of, at most, 30,000 units. After a year and a half of pitching 'Multima,' as it was originally called, EA gave him a quarter million dollars to make a prototype, and would only let him assign developers nobody else wanted. When they finished, they didn't have enough money left to send beta copies to testers, so they set up EA's first ever web site, advertising that for $5 (the cost of printing and shipping the CD), you could be in the beta. This paid beta sold over 50,000 copies. Of course, this led to the screwing of Ultima IX, which EA wanted to cancel, so Garriott was understandably irritated with EA over this.
  • Also since the purchase, absolutely every BioWare franchise that hadn't already ended.
    • Not a little of the backlash over Mass Effect 3 is due to a perception that EA's business model requires regular releases of easy-to-sell games from franchises such as Madden NFL and FIFA, and therefore that there simply wasn't sufficient time given to BioWare to properly write and develop the storyline for Mass Effect 3, which was given a mere 18 months (which was later extended to 22) of development time.
    • In regards to BioWare after the EA buyout, Dragon Age II had it worse being completely rushed out the door just so EA could cash in on the hype generated from Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening. For BioWare to make a better game than Dragon Age: Origins within a limited 11 month timeframe just wasn't going to happen.
    • It's believed that the fallout from Dragon Age II's and Mass Effect 3's negative receptions is the reason why Dragon Age: Inquisition was moved from a holiday 2013 release to fall 2014—possibly the only situation in which the fans are happy about being a work's release being delayed, since the extra time has given the devs the ability to include things which wouldn't have been possible to include by the original release date, such as being able to play as a fully-voiced non-human protagonist, addressing one of the major complaints about Dragon Age II (that you can only play as a human instead of being able to choose between human/elf/dwarf like in Origins).
    • Star Wars: The Old Republic suffered the misfortune of being Christmas Rushed against the wishes of the designers, resulting in a buggy and poorly optimized game that had nothing for players to do once they hit level 50 and as such became a commercial failure when the cost of keeping the game running eclipsed the money they were making from subscriptions. The game's first anniversary was marked by the fact that the game was forced into an incredibly strict Free-To-Play plan in an attempt to try to recoup the losses, an announcement of failure in all but name in the MMO market.
    • Downplayed with Anthem (2019) according to Jason Schreier's insider article. While the biggest issues with Anthem were caused by Bioware's (lack of) decision-making on the project until the final 18 months of development, EA certainly didn't help matters by pushing Bioware to develop the game using the Frostbite engine. Frostbite was designed for more traditional First-Person Shooter experiences offered by the Battlefield series and was ill-suited for the Wide-Open Sandbox "Looter Shooter" with RPG Elements that Bioware was making with Anthem. This was further exasperated by EA refusing to send the Frostbite support team to Bioware, opting to send them to help develop the latest entry in the Cash Cow Franchise that is Fifa Soccer instead. That said, it was ultimately Bioware's, not EA's decision, to make Anthem an always-online shooter in the vein of Destiny, a game they vehemently refuse to even learn a thing or two during the development of the game due to their belief that their game was "different".
  • Tim Schafer of Double Fine thought Brütal Legend had a safe haven under EA... until they completely and intentionally advertised the game as a single player adventure game, rather than its proper genre of a multiplayer Real-Time Strategy game, and forced Double Fine to keep quiet about it against their wishes. Schafer did his best to get the word out on his own, but was essentially drowned out by EA's hype machine. Making it worse was the single player demo. Though the game's reception was still largely positive, EA was very unhappy with the game's sales (it sold 1.4 million copies a year and four months after release). They refused to release a highly-requested patch for the PS3 that Double Fine had already completed that fixed a 99% completion bug, cancelled the sequel, and let Schafer take all the blame for the Misaimed Marketing. The move almost caused Double Fine to go out of business.
    • EA were also responsible for the PC port coming out nearly four years after the console versions. Even though Schafer intended the game to be console-exclusive, he was considering a PC port because he knew most of his fans were PC gamers, and because RTS games usually work better on computers than consoles, but they had lots of problems with EA, so they weren't able to even start working on the port until EA dropped publishing rights for the title.
  • Ever since Westwood was bought out by EA, things have been going south for the much-acclaimed Command & Conquer series. This is the series that created the Real-Time Strategy Genre as we know it today alongside Warcraft. While EA's creation of Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 and Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars were good enough to compare to the rest of the franchise, it wouldn't nearly cover Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight. The entire plot was abruptly shut down, the entire Construction Yard system was replaced with a tacky point-buy system, complicated base construction was reduced to upgrading one mobile structure, you had to Level Grind your online account to be able to use late-game units and worst of all, they created a freaking web game that claims to be Command & Conquer afterwards.
    • This has been mixed with the various memes spawned by the series to create the saying "Westwood lives in death".
    • Then there was the intended sequel to Command & Conquer: Generals - after alpha testing didn't get the sort of feedback they wanted, it was cancelled and the entire team they had behind the C&C series for the previous decade was shut down.
    • In addition to killing the Command & Conquer franchise, Westwood had released the very promising Earth & Beyond MMORPG a matter of months before their buyout (September 2002). It was the first space-based MMO, and had an excellent storyline which was scheduled to run for 5 years. EA only cared about the Command & Conquer name and didn't want to run an MMO, so they almost immediately pulled funding and all but a handful of developers off the game; removing their ability to fix even basic issues with the game while still attempting to keep new content on schedule. The underfunding flaws caused the game to hemorrhage players for a year at which point EA announced it would pull the plug in another year. Fans tried to buy the rights to the game after the shutdown but were rebuffed by EA, so a group spent 7 years decrypting cached server packet files and manually reprogramming a new server emulator which has been so successful that it even inserts new content.
  • Not even EA's fabled Battlefield is safe from this.
    • In an attempt to directly compete with Activision's Call of Duty series that began with Battlefield 3, EA released Battlefield 4 just two years later. Not only was Battlefield 3 screwed since it will no longer receive further support, but Battlefield 4 was rushed out the gate and riddled many game breaking bugs. While the game improved over time with fixes, its poor launch tarnished the franchise's image and landed EA with multiple lawsuits.
    • Battlefield V was badly screwed over by EA and studio DICE. The game received a terrible marketing campaignnote  and rushed it out just 2 years after Battlefield 1, resulting in an unpolished, bug-ridden title that performed below financial expectations. Post-launch support wasn't any better with DICE abandoning several promised updates to game modes like Grand Operations and Firestorm (see below for more details on the latter), while making several unpopular gameplay changes like increasing the time-to-kill (TTK) that only infuriated existing fans. Eventually, EA decided to cut its losses by prematurely ending support for Battlefield V and pivoting all DICE developers towards the next Battlefield title. Subsequently, Battlefield V ended its life cycle with fewer maps than its predecessors and without much requested theaters of war like the Eastern Front and the Italian Campaign.
  • Since 2017, EA and studio DICE have a bad habit of abandoning game modes developed by Criterion Games.
    • When developing Star Wars Battlefront II (2017), EA outsourced development on the Starfighter Assault mode to Criterion Games while DICE worked on the base game. However, after launching in the November 2017 with the base game, Starfighter Assault received no updates since July 2018 even as DICE added new ground-based maps, modes, and heroes into 2020. Criterion Games was pivoted to Battlefield V's Firestorm battle royale mode instead of updating Starfighter Assault, leading to players abandoning the mode.
    • The battle royale mode Firestorm was mismanaged thanks to DICE and EA. Firestorm can only be played if one bought the full-priced base game and was released 5 months into that game's lifespan when many of players at launch have moved on, making it less accessible and more difficult for populating matches. When DICE took over maintaining the mode after its release, the studio neglected it like what happened with Battlefront II's Starfighter Assault. Aside from transferring some guns over from the base game, Firestorm didn't receive any major updates while issues like rampant cheating and the bad looting system were not addressed. EA didn't help matters by releasing the mode just a month after the launch of their other battle royale game Apex Legends, which ended up drawing players away from Firestorm thanks to being free-to-play. Subsequently, Firestorm became unplayable for many, especially in sparsely populated player regions like Australia and New Zealand.
  • Wondering why the Wii U had a somewhat mediocre library at release? There were more than five planned games from companies under EA to be released on the system, but then Nintendo refused EA's offer to have the system's online run on the Origin system. Feeling snubbed by this, EA cancelled any Wii U ports of games that weren't already out, and threatened any company that goes against their wishes with closure.
  • Suda51 decided to partner with EA to publish the psychological-horror/comedy shooter Shadows of the Damned worldwide in hopes of making sure the game would be noticed by many. But EA gave the game no marketing whatsoever and it ended up being a flop in EA's eyes. Coincidentally, Shadows of the Damned also had Shinji Mikami acting as producer. After this, Suda broke off with EA and instead decided to partner with Warner Bros. Games and XSEED when it came to publishing his next big releases (Lollipop Chainsaw and Killer is Dead respectively).
  • After being turned down by Microsoft, EA picked up the Xbox launch title Cel Damage. Pseudo Interactive thought that EA would treat it well...but they didn't. The only advertising it got was a trailer that appeared on one of the earliest Xbox demo discs, and a two-page magazine ad that was printed in very few magazines. All pre-launch promotional material for the system was focused on Halo: Combat Evolved and Amped Snowboarding instead, with no Cel Damage in sight, despite it being a much better demonstration of the Xbox's capabilities than Amped. To make matters worse, it lost its Xbox exclusivity two months later when it was ported to Gamecube, and it took until the Gamecube launch in Europe for the game to be released over there, note  with the European release being published by a budget publisher known as "Play It!" It went From Bad to Worse with the planned Cel Damage 2. CD2 was set for a 2003 release, and was to improve on many of the aspects that were criticized in the first game, in addition to introducing new features. EA gave it the axe before it could get very far into development, and Pseudo was not allowed to release any concept art or footage of it until the studio's closure, five years later. CD2 was then replaced with an Updated Re-release of CD1 for the PS2, titled Cel Damage Overdrive, but EA prevented it from being released in North America until eleven years later, with the HD release.
  • Not even their sports games are immune to this. In July 2013, the NCAA decided not to renew its contract with EA in regards to the NCAA Football series, effectively placing it on indefinite hiatus. Numerous royalty disputes regarding the use of NCAA athletes in the games played a crucial role in stonewalling the series, despite over 150 colleges announcing later that it had extended their contracts with EA up to 2017, as the contract didn't affect the schools and conferences. The franchise was kept dead when several conferences revoked EA's licenses to use their trademarks because of the lawsuits, and despite EA's best efforts, the studio isn't developing any new NCAA Football games anytime soon.
  • A lesser example in Titanfall 2, which EA decided needed to be released at the same time as Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare and their own Battlefield 1. Needless to say, despite the high reviews, the game was an Acclaimed Flop. Some suggest that EA did this out of fear that Battlefield 1 would bomb due to its unconventional setting and attempted to hedge their bets, only for their plan to backfire. The fact that EA has stated that they will support the Titanfall series in spite of this - the exact opposite reaction they've ever had to such a situation before - suggests this wasn't an intentional case of this trope.
  • The Need for Speed franchise was coming out of a Dork Age before Criterion Games' Hot Pursuit and Most Wanted came along and brought critical praise and renewed interest in the franchise. Yet, during the development of Need for Speed Rivals, EA would siphon-off several of Criterion's staff to forum the new Ghost Games studio as the de facto developer for the franchise. This would backfire when the 2015 reboot and its followup, Need for Speed Payback, were both met with mixed reception from critics and a poor response from fans. EA would quickly bring oversight of the franchise back to Criterion, but by then, two of its founders would leave to form Three Fields Entertainment and develop Spiritual Successors to the Burnout series.

  • The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection was released on the same day as Modern Warfare 3 in 2011, causing it to become eclipsed in sales; in some regions it was also underproduced as well, so even those who knew about and wanted it weren't guaranteed to have access to a copy. Furthermore, the release date and superior quality of the HD Collection made the then-upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D (a remake of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater for the 3DS) look pointless.
  • Koji Igarashi, director of the Castlevania series since 1999, was forbidden to continue working on the "Metroidvania"-style games that have not been profitable since Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. In response, Igarashi departed from the company after Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia to create his own studio to develop a Metroidvania-styled Spiritual Successor called Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.
  • Silent Hill had 3 games that were ruined by Konami in 2012.
    • Silent Hill: Downpour was released on March 13, exactly 1 week after the launch of Mass Effect 3, a highly anticipated game whose hype and pedigree allowed it to utterly demolish Downpour in sales and publicity even with Mass Effect 3's ending controversy. To make matters worse for Downpour, its sales were also cannibalized by the release of the Silent Hill HD Collection in the same month.
    • The Silent Hill HD Collection was a disaster as it released in one of the worst state for any game, let alone a remaster of two games that had been out for about a decade. The game suffered from audio bugs and had the fog effects removed to reveal unfinished textures. The game even needed a Day 1 patch despite the games technically being a decade old - a patch which only came out for one of the two platforms the game was available on, and didn't even actually fix much of anything. The studio tasked with the remasters was unfamiliar with the HD remastering process and lacked the resources to fix many problems they were aware of. Considering Japanese developers didn’t consider data preservation a priority during the early 2000s, the studio was essentially forced to simultaneously develop remasters of SH 2 and SH 3 while trying to reverse-engineer the retail builds to fit with the outdated source code they’d been provided. That’s all without going into the debacle of Guy Cihi, voice actor of SH 2’s protagonist James, mistakenly insisting he was owed royalties and forcing Konami to hire new actors to entirely redub the game.
    • Silent Hill: Book of Memories, a dungeon crawler spinoff exclusive to the PS Vita, received absolutely no promotion whatsover. Jim Sterling, a huge fan of the franchise, interviewed the studio's leads to give the game some publicity... only to have Konami, apparently afraid of people actually knowing about the game, ban him from publishing said interview (bear in mind as well this was before Konami blacklisted Jim), even though it actually gave relatively positive coverage of the game and was not only the highest-profile coverage the game would get before release, but also the only coverage the game had gotten by that point. Subsequently, not only was the game a commercial bomb, but it also robbed the PS Vita of a much needed game to boost its languishing sales figures.
  • Blades of Time, a personal pet project of Tak Fuji, was ignored completely by Komani as if it never existed.
    "This game's launch date was announced a week before launch. The game was unavailable in most stores in the U.S. until a week after launch, and Konami issued a press release announcing the game's availability three days after the game came out. Producer Tak Fuji, while in the States, couldn't even find a copy of his own game in the store, and called it a 'big shame' on him as a producer. THAT'S HOW MUCH KONAMI CARES!"
    Jim Sterling, "Konami is Konami", discussing Blades of Time
  • Both Silent Hill and Metal Gear got the shaft in 2015. Not only did Konami cancel the much hyped Silent Hills despite a fantastic response to its demo P.T., but Konami also found ways to screw over its most prolific game director Hideo Kojima during the development and release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami forced Kojima to rush out The Phantom Pain with an incomplete 3rd act, scrubbed his name off the game's cover, barred him from receiving the awards that the game won, and finally fired him.

  • We could make a whole page out of Sega's bad decisions their Western divisions have made:
    • The Sega 32X. Sega wanted this thing to succeed, and according to draft papers for the cancelled Sonic Mars, they thought that "The 32X adapter, along with quality dedicated software, may greatly extend the lifetime of the Genesis." However, they screwed it by releasing it in November 1994 (only six months before their next console, the Saturn), giving it a poor launch, having no killer apps other than Virtua Fighter, and a lot of great/interesting games that were planned for release were later cancelled. Not to mention, the TV and magazine ads were completely focused on sexual innuendos, which was another cause of its death.
    • Even worse was the Sega Saturn's treatment by them. Sega was originally going to launch the system on "Saturnday", September 2, 1995, so it would be in direct competition with the PlayStation, but they changed their minds at the last minute and decided to launch it on May 11 instead, a time when most developers didn't have their games finished yet, so only a few games (almost none of them good) existed at launch. Then came the "Theater of the Eye" ads which were largely promoted on FOX and MTV; they were bizarre and surreal ads depicting the human body's reaction to playing the console, and were meant to catch people's attention and convince them to buy a Saturn, but instead, potential customers ended up finding them incredibly frightening; especially in comparison to the Japanese advertising campaign of the now-memetic Segata Sanshiro. And then came Bernie Stolar, whom Sony already fired, and had somehow been accepted into Sega. He refused to let most of the really good games come to America,note  so the American Saturn game selection ended up being average, and most gamers found themselves buying a PlayStation or Nintendo 64 instead. Many great games that were planned for release (like Sonic X-treme, seen below, and an English version of Hideo Kojima's Policenauts) were soon cancelled, and the console finally gave out in 1998. Many non-import American gamers claim the Saturn to be one of the worst consoles ever because of all these problems, whereas in Japan, Saturn was a success, and has become immensely popular in Japanese culture. There were accusations that this was deliberate vengeance against Sega of America for outperforming the Japanese side during the Genesis era.
    • Shenmue also went through this. The first game reportedly had the biggest budget that any game in existence had at the time, was very ahead of its time, was one of the most impressive games on the console, and got rave reviews from critics and Dreamcast fanatics. However, it failed to be a best-seller since most people knew about the console's lack of copy protection, so most ended up pirating it. Then came its sequel, which was released for Dreamcast in Europe and Japan (The PAL version even had the original Japanese voice tracks rather than the hammy English dubbing), but due to Sega having already pulled the plug on the system in America, they released it as an Xbox-exclusive. The Xbox, the console in which mainly FPS and sports games sold well. Because of this, it wasn't until E3 2015 when Yu Suzuki, free from Sega's grasp, was finally able to announce that a third game would come to PlayStation 4 and PC, tying up some very loose ends.
    • Panzer Dragoon. The third game, which changed the series from a rail shooter to an RPG (and with very positive response), was released in America during the time that the Saturn was dying. Then the fourth game, which went back to the rail shooter gameplay, was released as an Xbox-exclusive, and needless to say, the series met the same fate that Shenmue did. It also doesn't help that the series' developer team, Smilebit (formerly known as Team Andromeda) went out of business when Sega merged with Sammy, and later reincarnated into Sega's Sports R&D.
    • ToeJam & Earl 3: Mission to Earth was another Xbox-exclusive Sega sequel (notice a recurring trend going on here?), bringing the series to 3D and changing the theme of the series from funk to hip-hop as a weak attempt at targeting the console's demographic. Naturally, it failed miserably.
    • While the original Jet Set Radio got a heavy amount of promotion from Sega, the sequel (or possibly Alternate Continuity) Jet Set Radio Future hardly got any in the states (at first, anyway, but we'll get to that in a moment). As opposed to the original, which got a commercial, a two-page magazine ad, and a few blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameos of Beat in a commercial for the SegaNet service, the only pieces of advertising JSRF got was on an Xbox ad in which it showed beta footage note  but didn't mention what the game was, and a commercial for the game itself that got very little air time, because Sega was more focused on advertising the Gamecube port of Sonic Adventure 2 instead. Thankfully later, in an example of Network to the Rescue, Sega realized that the game was suffering from poor sales, and decided to put this and Sega GT 2002 on one disc together and package it with Xbox consoles during the Holiday season of 2002. And although the sales were still overall poor despite their best efforts, it initially worked. Go on eBay and you'll notice that the promotion pack sells for cheap, while buying the game on its own doesn't. Also, Gamestop's website (and the store too, back when they used to carry original Xbox games and accessories) carries used copies of the bundle for 99 cents.
    • Sega royally screwed Platinum over during their partnership with them:
      • Infinite Space got absolutely no advertising outside Japan, and the advertising it got in Japan was very limited. The game was shipped out without prior announcement, and now it has become one of the rarest DS games.
      • Poor, poor Vanquish fell victim to this at retail release. Outside of Japan and France, Sega chose to advertise Sonic Colors instead, and gave Vanquish zero advertising. None, nada, zip, zilch. The game just showed up on store shelves without any announcement, fanfare, or promotion, so it quickly fell under the radar. Thankfully, it has been doing much better now that it's on PlayStation Store's games on demand (it's even a free purchase for PlayStation Plus subscribers).
      • Anarchy Reigns, which was 100 percent completed, translated, ready to go, came out July 2012 for Japan. Sounds fine for them, right? America and Europe got it in early 2013. Platinum wasn't even informed until as soon as the announcement was made. The hold up was done because they apparently wanted it released alongside some big named games, and released it for $30 (rather than the standard full price of $50/$60), which in effect, effectively killed the chances of the game being noticed, and GameStop dropped the price by $10 not too long afterwards.
      • The in-development sequel to the critically-acclaimed Bayonetta was cancelled by Sega before it could get anywhere, mainly because they were experiencing a financial crisis at the time. When Nintendo partnered with Platinum for The Wonderful 101, they came to the rescue by buying the publishing rights from Sega, thus allowing Platinum to finish development so the game could see the light of day, though becoming an exclusive on the Wii U. It is rumored that Sega were the ones responsible for the box art change, however; the Bayonetta 2 box art was initially supposed to have Bayonetta in front of a shrouded moon, but the final box art depicts a bright moon instead, a change which Hideki Kamiya has expressed disgust toward. The Nintendo Switch rerelease would fix this.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog:
      • Even Sega's Cash Cow Franchise is not immune to this, as the much-reviled Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) is a more visible example of this trope in action. The game, meant to highlight Sonic's fifteenth anniversary, was Christmas Rushed due to said anniversary, and it shows. Inconsistent camera, long load times, and incomplete game mechanics (to the point where many of the things in the manual are incorrect) were only a few of the problems the game suffered from due to its rushed release. Decisions such as taking half the development team off the project to start work on Sonic and the Secret Rings and outright ignoring the quality assurance staff's reports of the game's numerous glitches didn't help matters.
      • The bits and bobs of what happened behind the similarly-reviled Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric imply the game's development was rushed for similar reasons (holiday release), which would most certainly explain the game's huge lack of polish-graphical glitches galore, instances where the framerate severely dropped, areas that could cause players to end up falling through the floor, and several overlooked bugs, one of which allowed characters to literally fly over (and thus skip) several segments of the game or be locked out of certain areas of the game. The situation is especially egregious as the engine the game was running on was not officially supported on the console the game was released for, which indicates the development team had to continue working on the game on a new platform that may not have been intended from the game's conception. Despite some of these bugs later being patched, it wasn't enough to save the reputation of the game and the people involved with its creation.
      • Sonic the Fighters saw a limited release in American arcades because Sega of America found it to be "too violent" (although all of the "violence" is comical and played for laughs, and is on par with what you'd see on a Saturday Morning Cartoon), and that it would tarnish their mascot's image. The game even got very negative reception upon original release, and a planned Sega Saturn port that would include a character named Honey the Cat was soon cancelled. Made even more glaring in that around the same time as the release of Sonic Heroes, SEGA released Sonic Battle for the Game Boy Advance, a fighting game with moves that were not nearly as comedic as Sonic the Fighters. At least Sega was nice enough to release an HD XBL/PSN port of the game that re-implemented Honey the Cat into the game years later.
      • Sonic X-treme. The game was already stuck between a rock and hard place with its troubled development, but the point when the development of the game fell apart was when the head representatives of the company arrived at STI's headquarters to check on the game's progress. Long story short, the team that worked on the engine for the game's main levels saw their work thrown out the window because of the representative's negative impressions of an outdated engine (the head of the staff even pleaded them to wait as the team was almost done polishing the current engine, but they refused); while another team that worked on the engine for the boss levels were ordered to use their engine as the basis for the entire game and complete it in nine months in time for the holiday season. A Hope Spot appeared when the company allowed the developers use the game engine of NiGHTS into Dreams… for the game so the developers could reach the deadline, but because the company didn't secure permission from the creator of the engineSonic creator Yuji Naka, who then threatened to leave the company on grounds of plagiarism—the development team was told to stop using it after they had grown accustomed to the engine for about two weeks). Not surprisingly, the lead programmer of the remaining ended up overworking himself to the point of falling ill with pneumonia shortly afterwards, which subsequently led to the game's cancellation and developer Sega Technical Institute's disbandment.
    • Valkyria Chronicles was hit by this in America. While the first game came out with some success, the sequel suffered from reduced graphics due to the jump from PS3 to PSP and a change of from Pseudo-World War II to a lighthearted military academy. Valkyria Chronicles II was not well received in America and as such, the third game, which returns to the first game's wartime setting, was not ported across. Even more so, games such as Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed tend to forget the franchise's existence. The fourth game and spinoff, Valkyria Revolution, had a public demo pushed out hastily while development was still in a pre-Alpha stage in order to push copies of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered using the Azure Revolution demo as a pack-in similar to Crackdown's Halo 3 beta, despite the game clearly not being ready for primetime. Fan reactions to the demo in the state it released in were... Adverse at best. Rather than salvage the situation, the game's budget was slashed and the target platform of the game was shifted to the Playstation Vita, with the final retail product on PS4 being visually downgraded compared to what was initially playable, and gameplay that was little better, if not worse than the initial demo, topped off with the majority of the game's cutscene direction being generally lifeless scenes of characters standing in place motionless reading off lines of dialog for minutes on end with nothing in the way of expression or animations beyond their idle breathing.
    • After Burner Climax was announced for delisting on Xbox Live Arcade and Play Station Network on December 24th due to an contract between Sega and Boeing expiring. But for unknown reasons, the game was pulled from the marketplace eight days earlier on the 16th.

  • Prey 2 was originally dreamed up as a space bounty hunter simulator, but was never released. The producers claim the game was simply too rough and bland to sell well, but the developers and some coders claim the game was practically finished and worth a try, but that the cancellation was a 'political' matter. Years later, the same company released Prey as a reboot, still featuring aliens hunting the protagonist but in more of a System Shock setting involving horror elements and paranoia. No references or Easter eggs to the original Prey or its intended sequel were ever integrated into the final game.
  • Hunt Horrors of the Gilded Age was a hunting game about a co-op team of 1900's American bounty hunters trying to kill supernatural monsters and fiends using near-WWI-era tech and rudimentary magics. By the E3 demo three years later, the game was now called Hunt: Showdown and had undergone a radical change: instead of working together, pairs of hunters are hunting each other to claim the bounty for themselves. It's also first person, the enemies move rigidly, the graphics are dark, and the map is open-spaces instead of linear.
  • Allegiance averted this — the game is so good, that it has lasted for ten years thanks to its fans despite Microsoft dropping all support for it soon after its original commercial release.
  • When presented with a completely reworked Conker's Quest, now titled Conker's Bad Fur Day, Nintendo of America was reportedly horrified to discover that the aggressively cute, child-aimed Banjo-Kazooie clone had been replaced by something inspired by South Park, R-rated movies, and the Itchy and Scratchy cartoons from The Simpsons. In response, they gave the game very little advertising (sticking mostly to men's magazines, whose target demographic probably wasn't interested in cartoon talking squirrels) and a warning on the game's box stating that it was very clearly "not for anyone under 17". Rare was understandably upset with this treatment. The game was similarly screwed over in regards to its Xbox remake, Live and Reloaded. Ironically, this version of the game was heavily censored, thereby losing much of its appeal. This wasn't helped by all the multiplayer games being completely replaced with a new mode called "Xbox Live & Co." based heavily around online play.
  • Fallout:
    • With "Van Buren" (the reputed Fallout 3) nearly completed, Interplay pulled the plug on Black Isle Studios when going bankrupt — but kept the Fallout IP. Two games were released without the input of Black Isle: Fallout Tactics, which was a respectable tactical strategy game but lacked the freedom the series was renowned for, and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel is probably the source of a significant part of the resentment of Fallout fans. There was... more than a little trepidation on the part of many fans now that Bethesda has released Fallout 3 (of course, giving Fallout: New Vegas to Obsidian was cause for squee, so perhaps this no longer applies).
    • A minor case of "malice" possibly applies when Bethesda was rumored to have ordered Obsidian to stop releasing official patches for New Vegas when Skyrim came out, because they didn't want their big in-house hit overshadowed by FNV, in addition to cutting their development time from 2 years to 18 months which contributed to the amount of bugs present in the first place. As New Vegas is an example of "Bugsidian"'s virtues and flaws at their best, this has essentially left further patching up to the mod community.
      • Obsidian was somewhat screwed over as well with the money they received for the game; in addition to the flat pay, Bethesda offered Obsidian a bonus to the pay if it got a review score of 85 on Metacritic. It got 84. One point off. Meaning they only got paid the flat sum for the game.
    • Sony managed to play at the screwing of Bethesda by canceling mod support for Fallout 4 and the Updated Re Release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, making the former's PS4 release the worst by default and making one of the latter's key selling points false advertising, even on the PSN store description. Even after Sony and Bethesda reached an agreement on the situation to allow mods, it's still an example of this trope due to Sony only allowing use of in-game files, presumably for security reasons.
  • Jack Tramiel's takeover of Atari was seen by many as the beginning of the end for the company. Since he was the creator of and had a controlling stake in Commodore, he tried to kill off the gaming side of Atari and turn them into a budget computer outfit to complement his maiden company (which explains most of the aborted and/or half-assed attempts at making Commodore 64 clones in the late 1980s). He would sue lesser companies into oblivion, employee turnover became insane because the millions wasted on computer development meant they couldn't keep anyone around, and nepotism was rampant within the company.
  • Double Fine seems to have bad luck regarding this. Psychonauts was originally going to be a horror-like platformer released early in the Xbox's lifespan, and was to be published by Microsoft. Halfway through development, Double Fine retooled the game into a lighter, humorous platformer (but with some creepy elements). Upon finding this out, Microsoft outright refused to publish the game, because apparently they found its new incarnation too "kiddie" (never mind the fact that they would go on to publishing Viva Piñata, which also has a "kiddie" appearance), so Double Fine spent a long time trying to find a new publisher. Majesco made a deal with Double Fine that they would be the publishers for the game, but ended up giving the game terrible promotion on par to Earthbound. The TV commercial ended with the scene where Dogen sneezes out his brain, which lead people to believe that it was going to be a grossout platformer, when actually, outside of the brain-sneezing scenes (and the Meat Circus), the game isn't even gross at all. Also, there was a magazine insert that used the slogan "It'll blow your mind... out of your nose". Despite being one of the most critically-acclaimed games of the year, it had awful retail sales, most likely because of the botched advertising.
  • After Humongous Entertainment went independent again (after going through Infogrames and Atari ownership), it sold off six of its best-selling franchises and ruined the fifth one forever. In the case of Putt-Putt Pajama Sam, both had only one game too, before people started hating them. However, a poll in mid-2011 indicated that most fans wish Atari would bring back Humongous's old series.
  • The Sith Lords, the highly-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, was completely screwed over courtesy of LucasArts pushing its release date to Christmas, giving Obsidian barely a SINGLE YEAR to develop the game after Bioware handed it to them. Or, alternately, Obsidian tried to greatly expand the game after receiving tentative verbal permission from LucasArts, only for higher-ups in the company to later insist on the original release date. As a result, the game was heavily unfinished, suffering from unresolved plotlines to noticeable chunks of the game missing outright. While this may be chalked up to standard Executive Meddling, what happened next was what shot this into here: When Obsidian desired to release a whole patch that would, essentially, finish the game and fill in everything that was missing, LucasArts promptly denied that notion and, therefore, only fan efforts have been able to attempt to fill in the blanks. Since the original release wasn't Xbox Live-enabled, any patch would have been PC-only. The modding community eventually stepped in and restored most of the cut content; the mod in question is available here. In 2015, however, the Steam version of the game was patched with controller and Steam Workshop support explicitly for the sake of this mod.
  • LucasArts ended up on the receiving end of this with Star Wars 1313. After being acquired by Disney, it was said that its upcoming releases such as this game would not be affected. Then came April 2013, where LucasArts was shut down completely and said projects were shelved. The trademark was dropped a year later.
  • Square Enix's American branch seems content with giving the Dragon Quest series the shaft, with Nintendo ultimately stepping in to localize IX, the remake of VI, and DQ Monsters: Joker 2; the franchise was then relegated to mobile ports until DQ Heroes was released and Nintendo brought over the VII and VIII remakes. Much of this comes from the fact that Dragon Quest games have historically been Sleeper Hits, rather than immediately successful in the US. Demand for the series has increased, but it isn't the Cash Cow Franchise in the US that it is in Japan. And Nintendo was the one to localize Bravely Default, the Spiritual Successor to Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, as well. Square apparently had no faith in a Western release despite the game's absolutely massive success in Japan and the relative lack of role-playing games on the 3DS platform. It's gotten to the point of absurdity. Some insider info revealed that SE outright blackmailed Nintendo in order to prevent the localization of the 3DS version of Dragon Quest VII by threatening to strip Nintendo of their rights to localize Bravely Default if they decide to localize the VII remake. Nintendo eventually did get permission to release VII, but years later at about the time Bravely Default's sequel was released.
  • Though companies such as XSEED have offered to translate some of the Tales games left in Japan, Bandai Namco adamantly refuses, wishing to be the only company to release games in the franchise. And even if the games do see foreign releases, they tend to get poor advertisement, poor sales, and idiotic censorship. This is implied with Tales of Xillia in Japan where it was rushed to meet the anniversery date, resulting in a rather incomplete game and backlash from japanese fans. Fortunately, around Xillia 2, they started to get better - since this also happened after users stopped giving JRPGs the shaft for simply being JRPGs.
  • Dungeon Fighter Online was after a certain point left to rot by Nexon NA, creating a lag in content updates and hackers running rampant, leading to the game's closure in NA. The cause is implied to be not making as much money as other games. Fans have not forgiven Nexon NA for this at all. A few years later, the game's creator revived it on its own, and so far have given the game much better treatment in keeping it up to date, although there's still some problems such as small-scale marketting focused largely on Facebook.
  • Rayman Origins, a critically acclaimed game that marks Rayman's return to the platforming genre, Ubisoft chose to release in the U.S. the same day as two of their more anticipated products, Assassin's Creed: Revelations and... The Black Eyed Peas Experience. Guess which games got the higher sales and larger amounts of advertising. Said Black Eyed Peas game faded into obscurity in almost an instant.
    • The similarly-acclaimed sequel Rayman Legends suffered the same fate, as Ubisoft delayed the (originally Wii U exclusive) title from its postponed February date for half a year so they could make it multiplatform, despite being already finished. Add to that Legends' inability to rebuild the hype it accumulated prior to its February release and the chosen release month—September—being a month that held a handful of big-name releases, including the highly-anticipated juggernaut that was Grand Theft Auto V effectively meant the game was dead in the water, compounded by Grand Theft Auto V's numerous videogame sales records it smashed upon release. The sales report of Legends's low sales revealing that the game sold best on the Wii U was nothing more than a handful of salt rubbed in the wound. To rub the salt even deeper, the game was ported to PS4 and Xbox One two months after those systems launched, making the multiplatform delay incredibly pointless.
  • Gears of War 3 was ready for an early summer release, but was forced by Microsoft into a September holiday release, putting it into direct competition with the blockbuster releases of Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. While the sales were still strong, the online multiplayer quickly dropped in population due to the competition and never recovered.
  • Poor Nintendo Puzzle Collection. It was hyped for a few months as receiving an English translation and even received an ESRB rating. Its Western release sat in limbo for a few more months before being mysteriously cancelled. No one will ever know why.
  • Disney Interactive Studios, publishers of the racing game Split/Second (2010), denied developer Black Rock Studio an opportunity to make a follow up, which ended up pushing the studio into closure. This comes after the game was left on a cliffhanger (which is unusual for a racing game) and on top of that received positive reception to boot.
  • NC Soft developed a reputation for screwing over and crippling its MMOs and their developers in their prime for very suspect reasons:
    • Tabula Rasa — developed by Richard Garriott (of Ultima fame) and Destination Games — launched in 2007 to lukewarm reviews and an uncertain future, but died in 2009 under very dubious circumstances. During November 2008, a series of announcements by NCSoft claimed that Garriott had parted from the company for other ventures, and that the game would be shuttering in February the following year... except during that time, Garriott was in mandatory quarantine for an upcoming space flight, which was in part a publicity stunt to promote the game. In the following year, he filed an ultimately successful lawsuit against NCSoft for $28 million as not only did they wrongfully terminate his employment, they also forged his resignation and farewell letters in a plot to shortchange him of his stock options under the terms of a "willful resignation".
    • City of Heroes was a fairly successful MMO developed by Paragon Studios that by August 2012 had established long-term plans for content for the next three to five years. However, at the very end of that month, NCSoft suddenly announced the game was to be shut down and everyone at Paragon was let go effective immediately, with the servers getting a final shutdown in November. The official reason for City of Heroes' abrupt closure is still unclear, especially as the game was making a steady profit, though the most popular belief is that Paragon was let go in favor of their other ventures with more long-term profitability in their eyes like Guild Wars 2 and Lineage 2 (additionally speculated to be because unlike City of Heroes, they perform vastly better in South Korea).
  • Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was screwed in every which way; the game was hit with a delay and then rushed out in order to cash in on the Christmas sales. Core Design told their publisher, Eidos, that the game was nowhere near ready, but they were forced to push the game out quickly. After the game did badly in sales and reception, Eidos fired Core Design.
  • Star Trek Online was hit with this in its early days, between Perpetual Entertainment's utter and complete mismanagement with funds to Atari yanking money the game had gotten to pay off its own debts. The game didn't flourish until Perfect World Entertainment bought it, but if you talked to the people who visit the forums, you'd thing PWE was trying to screw the game over as well.
  • The Legend Of Zelda C Di Games were screwed at the get go. After Nintendo ditched Sony and partnered with Philips to make CD based games, Nintendo allowed Philips the right of develop games based on some of their IP. Unfortunately,Faces of Evil and Wand of Gamelon were both developed on a strict one year time limit (one year for each game) and had only a budget of $600,000 per game. As such, the developers were forced to go the cheap route by hiring non-union voice actors and several Russian animators that were fresh from graduating college. While the games back in 1993 were seen as average by critics, the discovery of the laughably bad cutscenes led the internet of today creating many YouTube Poop videos.
  • Early in the life of the GameCube, Nintendo intended for the console to incorporate online features in order to match its competitors. Much like the early models of the PS2, they produced a network adapter to achieve this. But why do many fans believe the GameCube had no online whatsoever? As it turned out, the first game to take advantage of the system, a port of Phantasy Star Online, was exploited by hackers in order to enable ROM dumping. In response, Nintendo completely swept the broadband adapter under the rug, leading to its lack of online support for most of its life.
  • When it came to launching and promoting the Wii U Nintendo made several poor decisions that contributed to its failure in sales.
    • The Wii U's problems began with the name. Looking to build on the success of the insanely successful Wii, Nintendo resolved to keep that brand going into the eighth generation. The issue with this is that gamers had already taken the Wii name as being equal to casual gaming by this point, and so were skeptical when told that the system was aimed just as much at them as the vast majority of those who bought the Wii. Meanwhile, naming it the Wii Unote  instead of something like Wii 2 or Super Wii, meant that casuals thought that it was tablet peripheral for the previous console rather than a new gaming console in its own right. Foregoing regular marketing in favour of Viral Marketing ensured that this information wasn't properly conveyed to the audience that needed to hear it.
    • Another issue was that Nintendo, famous for designing its games and hardware in tandem, did not allow this to happen during the development of the Wii U. Instead the hardware team simply made whatever they wanted without receiving any feedback from developers. The console's unveiling to the public in 2011 was also its unveiling to many of Nintendo's own developers. This meant that, similar to the Sega Saturn, Nintendo didn't have any interesting games to show off during the console's reveal nor any to launch it with early in the system's life, which caused the public to lose interest even when more interesting games started coming out.
  • Ubisoft has screwed two games set in their new Heroes of Might and Magic universe:
    • Heroes VI had a troubled patching cycle, and Ubisoft allegedly fell out with the developer, Black Hole Entertainment. Patching support ended less than 24 months after the game was released, and with outstanding bugs unresolved.
    • Support for Might and Magic X was dropped within three months of the game's release.
  • According to its creator Gunpei Yokoi, the Virtual Boy was only a proof-of-concept prototype when Nintendo halted its development because they wanted to devote all of their hardware development resources to the then-upcoming Nintendo 64. However, rather than scrapping the project entirely like they should have done, they released the Virtual Boy as-is, ensuring its place in history as the worst piece of hardware Nintendo has ever made.
  • Disney Infinity is a particularly painful example of this. Infinity was a billion-dollar Toys-to-Life franchise that was outselling Skylanders by its third installment, in part because of the well-done Level Editor included in the game. Surely something this successful would last for years to come, right? Sadly, this was not the case. The root of the problem lies in Disney over-estimating how much the figures made for Disney Infinity 2.0 and made too many of a number of characters, resulting in a several million dollar inventory write-up. Despite this, Infinity was still a money-making machine (especially 3.0) and everyone was still confident in the series, including the developers. There didn't seem to be any indication that anything was wrong, and upcoming releases were still being hyped up by the developers. In spite of the write-up, it seemed like Disney still felt that Infinity was worth supporting.
    Then came May 10, 2016, when Disney announced that the franchise was ending production, completely blindsiding not just the fanbase but even the developers. Ok, you might say, they're ending production. Surely they're going to go out with a bang and thank everyone for going on this ride with them and release some special figures to go out on, right? It's there that this trope really kicks in, as Disney simply dropped the series as though it had come down with a bad case of Ebola, without so much as a thank you to the fanbase. Everything came to a screeching halt, the lead developer's company was shut down, and everything that was coming to the game from July onward (such as figures and game modes based on Peter Pan, Moana, and Rogue One) was cancelled. The large fanbase Infinity had amassed over the past three years was left devastated and angry, especially when they realized that this meant that the Peter Pan and Mabel Pines figures specially chosen by the fans (the former by the Disney Artists and the latter being the winner of a Player's Pick poll) would likely be no more. Feeling that Infinity still had a ton of potential left, note  they began sending letters to Disney's CEO Bob Iger, campaigning to give the rights to Infinity to another company (such as Square Enix or Electronic Arts) on social media, and a "Save Disney Infinity" petition started by a 13-year-old boy amassed more than 10,000 supporters in less than a month. Regardless, Disney seemed to stick to its guns, and Disney Infinity remains one of the most shocking examples of this trope in recent history.
  • PlatinumGames had this happen when Microsoft cancelled Scalebound. According to accounts from industry insiders, both PG and Microsoft had wildly different ideas for the game. Microsoft wanted the game to be a simple co-op action game and marketed it as such in the publicly released trailers, which were mostly met with lukewarm reception as a So Okay, It's Average game. However, some insiders who were able to play the full game behind close doors claimed that the game had much more depth to it that Microsoft failed or refused to show, such as a massive open world, epic quests, the ability to swap between your human character and dragon, as well as the ability to fully customize your dragon. One theory is that the creative differences between PG and Microsoft were too great for the to agree on the direction of the game, while a second theory is that PG's ideas were too ambitious for the Xbox One to handle and Microsoft decided to cut their losses.
  • Rage of Bahamut's English version had millions of players, but a series of (what many believed to be intentionally bad) changes while completely ignoring any player feedback brought game to a crashing halt. Aside from some smaller unpopular changes (changing some rewards to make them only half-sized, for instance), there were two major things that resulted in the game shutting down: One was when they changed the main method of getting the item that players were using as currency so that you'd only get untradeable versions of it (including retroactively changing the tickets for it that you already had in your inventory), meaning that the only way to acquire it (unless you were already in a high-ranking guild and could earn good enough reward cards to sell) was to buy the items with actual money. This effectively killed the economy of the game and drove away players who no longer were able to grind to buy better cards. The other major change was to get rid of all events aside from "Onslaught", which was an item-burner (and after questing events were removed, no way to build up inventory for it) and highly unpopular when introduced, especially as it replaced the universally-liked "Castle Crushers" event. When they shut down the game, they claimed it was because "card games were a niche genre outside Japan" and "the mobile games market has shifted" - despite their "efforts to keep the app afloat". Fans took comfort, at least, that they'd be able to see many of the cards in the game's Spiritual Successor, ShadowVerse, though there were also theories out there that they made the game-destroying changes because they wanted to focus on Shadowverse instead.
  • Sony, at least outside of Japan, seemed to really dislike the Playstation Vita - as did a lot of major retailers sans Best Buy and Toys'R'Us, doing pretty much the bare minimum to market the system beyond its connectivity to the Playstation 3 and 4. The fact that there was a lawsuit against Sony in the UK at the time of its launch didn't help either.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles's initial North American release was sabotaged. Nintendo mistakenly allowed GameStop to have it as an exclusive. The problem was, GameStop also sells used games in addition to new games. Thus, since the retailer was able to control almost the entire supply, GameStop quickly capitalized on this, lying about new copies not being in stock despite that the used copies being sold for a markup were new copies. Fortunately Nintendo learned from their mistake and did not allow any retailer to have an exclusivity deal for the 3DS version (which also was downloadable), and it received another release on the Wii U Virtual Console.
  • IO Interactive's development of Hitman (2016) was a very messy, somewhat confusing one. While it received rave critical success, it was suddenly reported in May 2017 that Square Enix decided to abruptly cut all business ties with IOI, with the main purported reason being that the game had underperformed commercially, with many citing the biggest factor being the game's episodic format. In a surprising twist for this scenario, however, IOI was allowed to keep the rights to the Hitman franchise, something almost entirely unheard of in a developer-publisher relationship of this sort, allowing them to independently develop and publish future Hitman games. With the release of Hitman 2 and Hitman 3 (effectively the future "seasons" that would've been DLC of the 2016 game), fully completing their intended World of Assassination Trilogy, as well as reports of increasingly solid financial returns, it seems that IOI actually came out the other end fairly well.
  • The original version of Final Fantasy XIV bombed hard due to Square-Enix wanting to pump out the best kinds of graphics like they usually do with every Final Fantasy title. By having the developers use the same game engine that powered Final Fantasy XIII, the game was a massive unoptimized mess and it also didn't help that the developers had also made questionable game design during development. Reception to the game was so negative that it nearly killed the Final Fantasy brand. It took some new developers and a complete rework of the game to save it and the franchise, which it did with critical success.
  • Yo Kai Watch and its first sequel were not subject to this initially, but turned into this after the games underperformed outside Japan (with the second game losing out to Pokémon Sun and Moon and Final Fantasy XV); with Nintendo opting to largely not promote the spinoff Yo-kai Watch Blasters or Yo-kai Watch 3 outside of web advertising. Blasters was also launched against Spider-Man (PS4), and the third game faced this for both its EU and US launches. The game launched in Europe the same day as the global launch of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and in the US after the release of Kingdom Hearts III and the Video Game Remake of Resident Evil 2. Both games were also subject to a much smaller print run than the first two, making them hard to find outside the 3DS eShop or paying absurd resale prices online. Yo-kai Watch 3 is estimated to have sold no more than 4,000 units stateside to date as a result.
  • The Nintendo 64 Disk Drive was done in by poor sales of the parent console, not problems with hardware or software as popular belief has oft dictated. In a 1998 interview featured on extremely obscurenote  Digital Heroes, it was said that Nintendo would not release the 64DD until sales of the N64 itself had reached 6 million. Naturally, that never happened, and what was ultimately released as the 64DD at the turn of the millennium was a heavily stripped-down version that only featured software that absolutely required use of the 64DD.
  • Epic Games ended up in a strange, self-inflicted but premeditated version of this that resulted in Fortnite being removed by Apple from the iOS App Store in August 2020. Epic had deliberately violated App Store policy through their Mega Drop release (it contained a significantly discounted in-game microtransaction system that bypassed the 30% cut Apple receives from every in-app transaction), and once Apple removed the game from the App Store in response, Epic sued them, using the incident as precedent to claim Apple was holding a monopoly on distribution of software (including games like Fortnite) through their App Store. As of September 2021, a judge gave a ruling that neither party was happy withnote  and both sought to appeal, and it has yet to be seen if, let alone when, Apple will ever allow Fortnite or Epic to return to the App Store.
  • For whatever reason, Bandai Namco is very adamant on screwing over CyberConnect2's Little Tail Bronx series, as not only have the games received little to no advertisements, their western launches were also outsourced to other companies like Atlus and XSEED, rather than handling it themselves. They've also repeatedly denied CyberConnect2's wishes in making more games in the series, with a Bandai Namco producer reportedly throwing out a pitch for Tail Concerto 2 right in front of Hiroshi Matsuyama without reading it, while refusing to relinquish all rights for the series back to CyberConnect2, preventing Tail Concerto and Solatorobo from seeing any form of re-releases, remakes, or direct sequels. Even when CyberConnect2 were able to work around Bandai Namco and make a third game without their involvement, it was still screwed over thanks to Bandai Namco holding onto partial ownership of Tail Concerto and Solatorobo, preventing them from directly referencing past characters and events in Fuga.